Professional Mentoring Programme

The Professional Mentoring Programme works with eligible University of Plymouth students to raise aspirations and career success.  

The programme matches undergraduate and postgraduate students with experienced professionals for a one to one insight into their specific sector over a six month period. Student mentees will have an opportunity to improve their personal and employability skills, whilst mentors gain personal and professional development. Our mentors are a mix of alumni and non-alumni volunteers, based across the UK and in a range of sectors.


How will I benefit from the programme?

The Professional Mentoring Programme will give you the opportunity to:

  • receive advice on and clarify your career ideas
  • increase your understanding of your mentor’s job role
  • develop and improve your employability skills
  • develop your professional network
  • gain an insight into your chosen career area
  • have your questions about diversity in the workplace addressed honestly and confidentially.

What will it involve?

The Professional Mentoring Programme takes place from October to May. Once enrolled in the programme, students will be required to:

  • attend an introductory training session
  • we recommend a minimum of six meetings, these are flexible, and are arranged around the mentor’s and mentee’s schedule. Meetings take place once a month and last for one hour. They can be conducted face to face or via email, phone, Skype etc. 
  • be proactive in arranging meetings as well as preparing the meetings
  • complete a Monthly Meetings Feedback sheet following each meeting so we are able to follow your progress
  • attend the Professional Mentoring Introductory Meet Your Mentor Event in November
  • attend the Professional Mentoring Celebration Event in May. This event brings students and mentors together to celebrate achievements and share experiences and feedback.

Am I eligible to apply?

To be eligible to apply you must:

  • be registered with the University of Plymouth as a student with a disability; or as a care leaver; or from a low participation neighbourhood; or a Black, Asian or minority ethnic student; or a mature student
  • have careers, industry, networking or other questions that a mentor could assist you with to help boost your confidence and clarify career ideas
  • be aware it is a six month programme which you are prepared to fully commit to and work around the busier times of your course and your mentor’s schedule.

The Professional Mentoring Programme for 2019-20 will open to student applications in August 2019. The deadline for applications will be Monday 7 October 2019. In the meantime if you have any questions please contact us at / +44 1752 582004.


How will I benefit from the programme?

Mentoring undergraduate students at a local university is a rewarding experience.  In addition to working with someone who is hoping to gain an insight into your career area, you will have the opportunity to:

  • develop your coaching skills
  • refresh your own view of work
  • develop undergraduates’ interest in your sector and your business 
  • develop your reflective learning
  • act as a positive role model 
  • increase your awareness of diversity issues.

How can I become a mentor?

We are always looking for enthusiastic mentors who would like to take part in this mutually beneficial programme. We accept applicants from any job position in any industry, and previous mentoring experience is not necessary. Full training is offered prior to meeting your student mentee, and support is available from University staff along the way.

If this opportunity would be of interest to you or one of your colleagues, please contact one of our team for further information, or complete the profile above and return to a member of the team.

Contact us at / +44 1752 582004

Bernice and Sarah Jayne

Bernice Ofosu – BSc (Hons) Nursing (Child Health)

"I decided to request a mentor because I wanted to take advantage of every opportunity available to me. I covered a wide range of topics with my mentor, from tailoring my CV to suit different job applications and preparing for job interviews. As a result, I was offered a number of interviews and with the help of my mentor I have been offered a job at a leading institution."

Sarah-Jane Davies – Care Coordinator, The Zone

"I have thoroughly enjoyed this experience and like maintaining the connection with the University of Plymouth and supporting students. Bernice has put in a lot of hard work during our time working together and she would be the first to tell you that it paid off. It has been a real pleasure to have been a part of her journey."

Francesca and Nikki

Francesca Merrick-Reed – BA (Hons) Business Studies

"I needed that boost of confidence to help me apply for graduate jobs and I wanted advice from someone who knew what to expect in the big-wide-world. I learnt so much from my mentor, from how to perfect my CV to how to express myself and my experiences in interviews. I loved going to the work shadow day with her, where I got a great insight into what she does on a daily basis. Everyone says they’ve noticed such a big change in my confidence and self-belief. I owe it all to Nikki and without her support, I wouldn’t have been able to secure a graduate job."

Nicola Keen – Corporate Fundraiser, St Luke’s Hospice

"Francesca has been a super mentee. We covered confidence building, networking, LinkedIn, CV's, cover letters, job applications, stress and handling workloads, work experience and interview skills. Seeing her gain confidence and get a job made me so proud of her."

Ijaas and Stephen

Ijaas Imtajali – BEng (Hons) Robotics

"I requested a mentor because I wanted to know more about employability in engineering, especially in robotics. We covered a variety of subjects including CV and interview skills, things I could get involved in whilst at university and the next step after my degree. Stephen has motivated me to become a subject-specific student ambassador, get a summer internship and upgrade my degree to an MEng."

Stephen Turner – Electrical and Electronic Engineer, Science and Technology Facilities Council

"I became a mentor for the opportunity to offer advice and the relay what I learned from my time as an undergraduate. We discussed the different postgraduate options available, identifying and developing soft skills, the importance of networking and finding university resources that can help him achieve these goals. I've really enjoyed the experience, it is rewarding to see someone taking different decisions about their career path because of input you've given."

Mariam and Derek

Mariam Musa – MSc International Business

"I decided to enrol in the mentoring programme because I wanted to improve my employability skills and my chances of finding the right job after my studies. I have enjoyed and benefited from the mentoring process. With my mentor, I have explored a variety of career options and job hunting strategies as well as techniques to best present my skills and qualifications to potential employers. Having participated in the mentoring programme, I believe I am better prepared for my future career."

Derek Higgs – Specialist Employer Compliance, HMRC

"Mentoring with the University of Plymouth has been a brilliant experience and opportunity passing on the benefit of my experience. I have enjoyed seeing the confidence of my mentee soar over the course of the mentoring relationship."

Najim and Tom

Najim Mazidi – BSc (Hons) Computer Science

"I saw the mentoring programme as an opportunity to improve my confidence and employability. With my mentor's help, I was able to improve my interview technique through practice. I visited his workplace and spoke to current placement students to get a feel for a working environment. Tom has helped me build my confidence and my skills have greatly improved since our first meeting, and I was able to use them to secure a graduate position after my first interview."

Tom Parsonage – IT Manager, Barden Corporation / Schaeffler

"The mentor programme has been an enjoyable experience, seeing your mentee progress and achieve a role they want has been extremely rewarding and I would recommend the scheme to both mentor and mentee. Both parties benefit from developing and learning skills and the satisfaction of a job well done. It helps when someone tells you that you’re doing well and gives you the confidence to reach out to a prospective employer."

Ruth and Matthew

Ruth Amoako – BSc (Hons) Business

"I have gained a lot from being mentored, we covered a range of subjects from confidence building and writing an outstanding CV, to the usefulness of work experience. I enjoyed completing a mock interview where I applied for a customer service adviser role which was a great experience. The employer mentoring programme has made a huge difference in my life and the experience has changed how I view my future."

Matthew Bishop – Select Relationship Manager, Santander

"I decided to become a mentor because Santander is an advocate of supporting the communities we work in and mentoring is a rewarding way to give something back. I have particularly enjoyed seeing Ruth grow in confidence and gain a wider understanding of the business world."

Sophie and Soo

Sophie Smith – BSc (Hons) Politics with International Relations

"I decided to request a mentor to become more employable and because I wanted to know more about the third sector. The programme has made a huge difference, I now have a professional CV and know how to adapt it to different job specifications which have helped me gain several summer internship offers. I have also gained valuable knowledge of the third sector and the many opportunities out there."

Soo Brizzel-Hogg – Head of Strategic Partnerships and Contacts, Shekinah Mission

"Mentoring gave me the opportunity to support the journey of a student at the start of their career. Sophie led on the skills she wished to cover from CV writing to vetting opportunities to make sure they meet Sophie’s career needs and aspirations. The experience has made me aware of how hard students work, I found Sophie’s determination, resilience and commitment inspiring and I wish her well for her future."